Good timing: Distributed ledgers launch during the pandemic

Several cooperatives are going live with blockchain-based contactless authentication after years on the drawing boards.

A viral pandemic has proven to be the right moment for some forward-leaning credit unions to begin the long-planned rollout of new contactless technology for authenticating members.

UNIFY Financial Federal Credit Union($3.2B, Torrance, CA) and Desert Financial Federal Credit Union($5.7B, Phoenix, AZ) are two of the first member-owned cooperatives to begin offering members digital credentials using distributed ledger technology, the blockchain tools that have been in development globally for the past several years.

UNIFY and Desert Financial are co-owners of CU Ledger, a credit union service organization, and among the two dozen or so credit unions that are in various stages of deploying MemberPass. That’s the CUSO’s branded distributed ledger system for which approximately 500 digital credentials have been issued so far, all originated on members’ smartphones.

The system bypasses the normal know-your-customer regimen of online and telephone challenge questions by allowing the same credentials to be used across all channels where it’s been enabled.


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